Courtney Barber and Amie Williams of Team Mustang Girls are getting ready to head off on a series of adventures with Courtney’s ’65 Ford Mustang and later in the year, the ’78 Ford Bronco. As true enthusiasts, both Barber and Williams represent the heart of what RacingJunk means to the industry — people who are ride or die about their vehicles. As they travel this spring and summer, they will be sharing their adventures with RacingJunk readers, and we caught up with them before they headed down to Tennesee for “Ponies in the Smokies.”
Courtney is well known in RacingJunk circles, but her partner in crime on the road, Amie Williams is equally well known amongst auto enthusiasts as a gear head, writer and producer for a variety of media outlets, including Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords.
RacingJunk: Amie, how did you get involved in automotive/Mustang related things? How did you and Courtney connect?
Amie Williams: My dad was a pilot and lived on airports. When I’d visit him in the summers as a kid I would always try to help him with whatever I could working on his airplanes, whether it was handing over tools or just watching him in awe. He was a Chevy guy mostly, and always had cool cars or trucks around. My dad passed in an airplane accident when I was 12.
I’ve always liked the Mustang. I’m not sure if it had to do with my fascination of horses when I was little. When I was old enough to drive, I told my mom I wanted a Mustang. She thought they were too powerful for me to have as a teenager first learning how to drive. After a few cars and finally moving out, I turned the pages in an auto trader straight to the Ford Mustang classifieds and found a manual 2001 V6 Mustang with a few mods and an exhaust with my then-husband. We went and test drove it and brought it home. I am now on my fifth Mustang and don’t plan on stopping there.
RacingJunk: You’re going to be touring a little this spring before you head out with Ford in July. Where are you going? And are you taking the Bronco or the Mustang?
Courtney Barber: Our first stop is Ponies in the Smokies this week in Pigeon Forge with my 1965 Mustang followed by the Bronco Super Celebration and 55th Mustang Anniversary in April and then my favorite event of the year, the Hot Rod Power Tour. After the past three years of doing it in my Mustang, this year we will be taking the Bronco and hoping to do it topless 🙂 That’s just fun to say.
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RacingJunk: Last year, you were prepping to take the Mustang Girls Bronco to the Arctic, but the weather interfered in a big way. What are your plans for the Bronco this year?
Courtney Barber: Oh weather! Remember the TV show Press Your Luck and how they used to repeat over and over “no whammies”? I feel like I’ve been doing that ever since hurricane Florence last year. I’ve never even thought about it before this trip to the Arctic. The past 3 months I’ve been trying to figure out how we can make it in April but there’s this thing called the ice break that happens and once it does the ice road actually melts and you drive on gravel. Well there is a four to six-week period where you just can’t travel. And if you happen to be on the northern side of this and a bridge gets knocked out by a chunk of ice, you’re stuck there until it’s over. So instead of being an idiot I’ve decided to hit up a few more shows with both the Mustang and Bronco, before the journey to the Arctic in July and August ending at the Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit.
RacingJunk: How have the vehicles weathered the winter? Any new updates or upgrades?
Courtney Barber: I live in South Carolina so in the winters aren’t too harsh. but I am working on a few upgrades for the Bronco including a new rear end and front axle with a higher gear ratio to help us a pills which there will be a lot of on the way to the Arctic. I’m also debating on going with a smaller tire size. I know it will help drivability but it just doesn’t look as cool and isn’t that all that really matters?!
RacingJunk: What goals do you both have for these trips, and how do your goals change as you visit more places and experience them differently in these two vehicles?
Courtney Barber: My goals are always the same for all of these trips, just make it! When you do everything in a classic just making it there is a success, I don’t need to be the fastest or have the most points or anything like that. None of that matters to me. We win when we make it to the hotel each night! My vehicles couldn’t be any more different so it really is an extreme difference switching from one to the other, and stopping distance changes greatly! The challenge for this year will be getting as comfortable with the Bronco as I am with the Mustang, both in driving and repairs. Have you ever used a farm jack? They are terrifying!
Amie Williams: With the trip, I plan to report everything and document with photos. I just love exploring new places, seeing the different wildlife, and just having a fun adventure!
RacingJunk: Any other highlights you want to point out besides the Arctic Trip?
Courtney Barber: The Hot Rod Power Tour is always one of my favorite adventures just because it’s all about driving and when you get on the road with hundreds of classics all around you it just puts a smile on your face and this year will be even more exciting because it will be the Bronco’s maiden voyage. The 55th Mustang Anniversary at the Charlotte Motor Speedway should also be a great show. It only happens every 5 years obviously so they make it huge and it’s kind of where I got my start in the whole Mustang world.